Suffrage Overview

Ever since St. Mary’s County landowner Margaret Brent asked the Maryland General Assembly for the right to vote in 1648, Maryland women have fought for a rightful place in American democracy.

Suffragists used sophisticated strategies for galvanizing support for voting rights. By 1920, farmers’ wives gathered to hear suffrage speeches on the Eastern Shore. Black clubwomen on Baltimore’s Druid Hill Avenue taught voter preparation classes at the city’s Colored YWCA. Hikers leafleted along byways in Western Maryland counties. Marchers (some pushing baby strollers) paraded in downtown streets. Picketers stood as sentinels in front of the White House in Washington.

Many suffragists overcome derision, prejudice, and sometimes violence in their quest for access to the ballot.

To observe the 100th Anniversary of the 19th amendment passage, Maryland Women’s Heritage Center volunteers researched and wrote biographies about the scores of Maryland women who risked their reputation and, sometimes, their lives, to bring equity to the voting booth.

Many of these women’s names had long been forgotten. Now, their names and their stories are permanently preserved. Join us by reading their stories and celebrating their passion, courage and persistence.